Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and the Third Man Problem

Prior to randomly choosing to play and record a partial session of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (2011) a couple weeks back, it had been several years since I had played it. And I had completely forgotten that I had never settled on a good team of three. That’s kind of a vital thing when one must play in teams of three. And it remains the single reason I’ve *still* not beaten the game

Well…that…and forgetting about the game generally probably doesn’t help either.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 cover art © Capcom, Sony
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 cover art © Capcom, Sony

For reasons that have to do with United We Game’s YouTube channel (hinthint *clickclick* winkwink) I’ve had cause to pick up Marvel vs Capcom 2, one of my most favorite fighting games that doesn’t revolve solely around the Street Fighter universe. Despite its age, playing the game is still a blast. Yeah, I’m still pretty terrible at it, but I can’t help but get sucked into the game’s frenetic and over the top action. Does the same hold true for Ultimate MvC3?

I…think so?

You wanna rethink that answer?
You wanna rethink that answer?

I mean yeah…Yeah…HELLS YEAH…it does.

Doesn’t it?

Okay, maybe I should get a few Ultimate MvC3 particulars put of the way first. That should help me gain a little perspective.

So the first iteration of MvC3 came out in early 2011, and the Ultimate version came out later that same year. The differences in the games laid in combat and the roster. Stepping up from MvC2, this Ultimate MvC3 features 3D character models that are just as gorgeously rendered as they can be. The controls are similar to that of any Street Fighter game, and the mechanics include specialized aerial combat moves, three-on-three team play, and the X-Factor performance boosts, which are new to the series.  MvC3 also has a fantastic roster, which has been boosted with a dozen new characters in the Ultimate version.

Lots of damn fine choices here.
Lots of damn fine choices here.

And maybe that’s where my hesitation with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 lies, in the roster. Because I couldn’t recreate the most awesome team in the history of fighting game teams, that of Morrigan, Zangief, and Cable from Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Because neither Zangief nor Cable is in Ultimate MvC3.

Well just…goddammit, Capcom. Really? How you gonna ask an old-ass player like me to just up and create a whole new damn team with a bunch of unfamiliars? I mean, thank to the smart people who at least thought to keep Morrigan around, otherwise, then we’d have a real problem. A real problem, indeed.

Morrigan agrees...deeply.
Morrigan agrees…deeply.

Um, anyhoo…

After too much trial and error, I settle on two starters. Morrigan (duh) and Zero, with Zero filling in the gun-toting role of Cable. (And Zero is extra speedy, a definite bonus.) The problem that remains (then and still now) is replacing Zangief, or more simply, finding a good melee fighter who can really get in people’s faces and dole out the damage. The most sensible choice, and the closest one to Zangief is Haggar. I used him for a time, but never really got into his nuances — his style is a little more complex than Zangief’s, and I don’t like to think too much while playing, haha. I’ve had a little more success with the Hulk or She-Hulk, both rightly formidable. And then, when I want a true change of pace, I’ve pickef either Taskmaster or Ghost Rider as my third. Oddly enough, out of all those combinations, Morrigan, Zero, and Taskmaster turned out to be my favorite. Taskmaster’s Legion Arrow special is downright awesome! His unique move set combined with Zero’s ranged attacks and Morrigan’s crazy aerials has led to some really good times.

Good times, yes, but not good enough to beat the game. Too bad I didn’t think of that combo when I made my video… Hmmm…

I mean, I did okay with this crew, but "okay" doesn't win the game.
I mean, I did okay with this crew in the video, but “okay” doesn’t win the game.

I’m not sure that I had a point to make here, except to say that Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a fantastic game that’s worth any fighting game fan’s time. Also that picking three characters is hard. Not like Math-is-Hard Barbie, but hard in the sense of finding just the right balance. It’s especially daunting for someone like me — a fighting game dabbler rather than a true hardcore. Frankly, with three different characters come three different move sets to remember, and that’s a lot to keep track of when you’re trying your damnedest to avoid a beatdown. Hell, me moving between just Morrigan and Zero is a challenge that I’d rather not admit to.

Still, there’s something to be said about being flexible. After all, most of the fun of a fighting game comes from at least lightly mastering a good handful of characters and trying them all at least once. You just never know what surprises might arise. And Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is full of surprises.

Just ask Hawkeye.
Just ask Hawkeye.

If you’ve played (Ultimate) Marvel vs. Capcom 3, what are your favorite team(s)?


  1. Played both. I’ll have to admit, I sucked at it, too. My favorite team was Super Skrull, Deadpool and Dante. I noticed that Ultimate had a better netcode with its online play and added a bit more content to the game. Will have to go back and play it again sometime in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Having only played the Ultimate version, and not played it online, I didn’t know that about going online with it. Yours sounds like a pretty good team. I like using Deadpool occasionally — his mix of ranged attacks is pretty fun to play with. Writing about this game has definitely made me want to play more of it to. Will have to seriously consider that over the holidays. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I played the original Marvel vs Capcom 3. When I heard an ultimate edition was coming out in the very same year I was not amused.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, that was a pretty crappy thing to do to players. Talk about a good way to alienate people, releasing a “better” version of a new game within months of each other is it.

      Liked by 1 person

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